Middle School “Dos” and “Don’ts”

Claire, Ava and I have some advice for the incoming middle schoolers who want to know what to do, and what not to do. Hopefully this advice will help improve your Westridge Middle School experience!

The “Dos” ——

Have a binder for each class
Bring your lunch at the beginning of the year
Charge your iPad
Remember to do your homework
Get to your locker before your top or bottom locker buddy does
Bring a snack to school
Be on time to class
Get a spot at the lunch table
Wash your PE clothes at least once a week
Be respectful to your teachers

The “Don’ts” ——

Don’t stay up too late
Don’t bring your phone to class
Don’t talk during class
Don’t break dress code
Don’t lose your work
Don’t miss too much school
Don’t be on your phone or iPad during lunch
Don’t cheat on tests or quizzes
Don’t skip breakfast
Don’t misbehave in class

Should School Start Later?

Do you stay up working on homework?

Are you tired when you get to school in the morning?

Teens and students are more sleep deprived than ever! Would a few more minutes to snooze in the morning make a difference? I think so, teens arrive to school tired, and experts are saying middle and high schools should start later so teens can sleep in.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, students who sleep in later are more alert, and there are fewer incidents of tardiness. Studies have also shown that that across America seventy percent of teens and students are NOT getting enough sleep. Teens need at least eight and a half hours of sleep, one study has shown that tired students have an increased risk of depression, anxiety, illness and obesity. In 2012 one study found that middle school students’ test scores rose dramatically in reading and in math. Homework, after school jobs, babysitting, and extra curricular activities keep teens up later at night.

Some people are saying schools should NOT start later because parents might not be able or not have time to get their children to school, due to work schedules. Later school could also be sending the WRONG message, and students might start going to bed later and still not getting enough sleep.

But students got a little more time to sleep in, in the morning they will be more energized, and ready to start the day. Twenty-three out of twenty-eight students agree, and want later school.

Schools SHOULD change their starting times to a later time. So that students and teens can get their full eight and a half hours of sleep the night before school. They will also be more energized, focused and ready to start the school day!

Remember The Alamo

So many people gave their lives at The Alamo. The Texans were very outnumbered by the Mexicans. The battle of the Alamo was definitely one of the most important and memorable parts of the Texas revolution, because of the brave men and women who fought and gave their lives for what they believed in. The people who fought at the Alamo weren’t just anglo american, the Texan army consisted of african americans and even some mexican ranchers.

The most cruel and awful person in the battle of the Alamo was definitely Santa Anna, the Mexican dictator. He commanded the Mexican army at the battle of the Alamo. Even before the battle of the Alamo, he was at a river and shot many innocent people. At the Alamo, while all of his troops were working, fighting or on the lookout. He was either resting or eating a fancy meal. At the start of the battle he said, “What are the lives of our soldiers, but those of chickens.” It sounded like he couldn’t care less about the many lives of his troops.

The Alamo movie was full of different emotions. There were many scenes that gave of negative emotions, like sadness, worry, shock, and bad. But there occasionally there was some positive feelings, like amazement and thankfulness. When the Mexican army first arrived at the Alamo, it was shocking and worrying to see how many troops there was, and how much they outnumbered the Texans. It was amazing when Travis told the people of the Alamo that they were free to leave if they wanted to, and nobody left. Everyone was so brave and heroic.

What if Sam Houston and his men didn’t attack the Mexican army? If Houston and his army didn’t attack the Mexicans things would be very different. Santa Anna would not of surrendered and ordered his troops to withdraw from Texas and accept Texan independence. Some ways that the Texans could of avoided the massacre could have been if the Mexicans just made a peace agreement with the Texans, or tried to avoid the revolution entirely. If they made a peace agreement it would of had to be a compromise, but it probably would have been worth it to avoid the battle of the Alamo.

Sandy Beaches

Sprinkle, squish between my toes,
The smell of ocean to my nose.
I can feel each grain of sand,
It falls from air into my hand.
The shells I find along the shore,
Picked up by birds that fly and soar.
They sparkle like the ocean’s waves,
And carry sand from all the lakes.
I walk along the tip of the sea,
That’s where my feet leave prints to be.
I walk all the way to the end of the land,
The land that holds this beautiful sand.

By Morgan Swain

Take a Walk With MeThomas Hawk via Compfight

I like this poem because it really makes it feel like you are at the beach, with smell and touch.  I also really like the rhythm in the poem. I can relate to this poem because I love going to the beach, and when I go, I see and feel a lot of the same things in this poem.

Three Places to Visit in Austin

These are just some of the interesting, adventurous and fun places to visit and explore all over Austin. From shopping to hiking, Austin is full of great attractions for everyone.

     The Boats Start To Arrive Brandon Watts via Compfight

360/Pennybacker Bridge

The Pennybacker or 360 Bridge is a large bridge that crosses over the Colorado River. There are hiking trails leading up to spots that overlook the beautiful bridge, river and golf courses. This bridge is a popular spot for pictures in both the day and the night.

Ominous clouds David Ingram via Compfight 

South Congress

South Congress is a great place if you love shopping and eating. This busy street is home to many shops and restaurants. There is even I trailer park full of delicious food and drinks. Some of the places include, Home Slice Pizza, Hopdoddy’s Burgers and Big Top Candy Shop.

Free Time Marcus Calderon via Compfight

Zilker Park

Zilker Park is located just outside of downtown Austin. The popular park has sand volleyball courts, running trails, climbing rocks, and plenty of open grass area to picnic, play frisbee, fly kites or bring your dog. Many Austin festivals take place at Zilker, including ACL, Austin Kite Festival, and The Trail of Lights.

Foot Surgery Part 2

After I finally woke up, I was in a completely different room, in a completely different bed, with a big pink cast on my foot. My blurred vision was gradually becoming more clear. The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was a popcicle. I reached out my mouth and ate it off the stick. I was so hungry because I hadn’t eaten anything since the day before. I was not completely sure the popcicle was for me, but I ate it anyway.

Once I was finished eating, a nurse rolled my bed into a different room. I watched some TV with my parents until I felt well enough to get in the car. I got in the car and waved to the nurses. As we drove home I drifted into another deep sleep.

Foot Surgery Part 1

This Tuesday I had to get surgery to remove an extra bone from my foot. We arrived at Dell Children’s Hospital at 9:15am on Tuesday morning.

After checking in and signing a ton of paperwork, the nurse called me and my parents in. We walked down the hall and the nurse told me to change into a special surgical gown and super humongous “shorts”. So I did. Afterwards, they asked me what color cast I wanted and the scent I wanted for the anesthesia they were going to give me. I chose a pink cast and Florida oranges as my scent.

Next thing I knew, I was in the surgical procedure room lying on a table with a mask on my face. I could smell delicious Florida oranges as I quickly drifted off into a deep sleep.


Bad Dog

Ever since I was born, my family has lived across the street from this family with a dog. The dog’s name is Romeo. Do not get fooled by his name, this dog is the COMPLETE opposite of your classic Romeo. He is absolutely, positively vicious.

I am not kidding. He broke through the electric fence that his family put up as an attempt to protect the rest of the neighborhood from their monsterous canine.

Romeo is a Great Dane. He is about five feet tall, standing on all fours, and I don’t even know how tall he would be standing on his hind legs. Romeo is DEFINITELY not a gentle giant. He would attach anything or anyone any chance he gets. My parents even had to drive my siblings and I to and from the bus stop to avoid him.

So beware of Romeo and don’t say I didn’t warn you!

New York City Part 2

We woke up in NYC on Sunday morning and went out and ate breakfast at a cafe near our hotel. Then we rode a subway to the 9/11 memorial.

The memorial was so beautiful, there were two big fountains with the names of the people all along the edges of the fountains.

After we left the 9/11 memorial, we walked down to Chinatown. When we arrived in Chinatown, we made a reservation at a dimsum restaurant. While we waited a super long time for our table, we went shopping and bought some face masks at an Asian soap and lotion shop across the street.

When our table was finally ready, we went up this really long escalator  to the top of the restaurant. We sat down at our table, and ate some pretty good Chinese food.

Once we were finished eating, we did some more walking around and shopping. It was a fun day!

The Phantom’s Lair

Drip, drip, drip, water dripping from the dark cave walls. The cold, wet chamber that once was the Phantom’s lair, is now the home to the scurrying rats beneath the opera.

The gray, broken throne, where the powerful Phantom once sat, sits alone in the darkness. The once beautiful mirror, now shattered into a million pieces. Torn curtains and broken glass cover the floor. Puddles of mysterious liquid, reflect the distant memories of the lonely Phantom. A candelabra, chipped, rusted and worn out. A stained, torn, black cape, wet and alone on the ground. An empty mask, now left without a purpose.

The dark, wet, sad, underground chamber beneath the opera house, once the lively home of the great and powerful Phantom, now abandoned, forgotten and left behind.